Graham's seven-point effort leads UNCG past Wofford, 4-2
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Freshman Brian Graham logged a seven-point night, having a hand in all four goals as UNCG turned away Wofford, 4-2, in Southern Conference men's soccer action Tuesday night.
Graham, a native of Bowie, Md., tallied twice 80 seconds apart after Wofford rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie it with just under 12 minutes to play. The Spartans moved to 6-5-3 overall and 2-1-2 in Southern Conference action, while Wofford dropped to 1-9-2 overall, 0-5-0 in league play.
Graham's seven-point night looks to be the first since Oct. 12, 1999 when current MLS star Alejandro Moreno had four goals for an eight-point day in a win over The Citadel.
"Any win is a big win in the conference," said UNCG interim coach Justin Maullin. "Great to see Brian have a big night tonight. Real happy for him. Took a while for him to get his first one a few weeks ago. We showed some character. Our guys are tired of these overtime games, I think. It certainly looked like we were headed back into overtime. But we showed some guts to come back and win in the last five minutes tonight."
Graham started the scoring midway through the first half with an unassisted tally. Graham scored at 28:53 when a Wofford clearing attempt came to Graham and he blasted it just under the crossbar from 25 yards out.
Adam Shore made it 2-0 at 32:32, scoring his third goal of the year just after checking into the match. Kris Byrd hit a cross from the left wing into the box. Graham flicked it from the post across to Shore, who tapped it home from the doorstep.
Wofford cut it to 2-1 before half. Throw-in specialist Billy Padula's long throw to the right post found Nick Orton, who blasted it home for his first goal of the year at 37:45.
The Terriers tied it at 78:08 on Logan Threadgill's first goal of the year. Orton's cross from the right side of the box skidded through the goal mouth to Threadgill, who banged it home to tie the score.
But Graham scored his second of the night with 4:22 to play and then completed the hat trick 80 seconds later for an insurance goal. The go-ahead came on a ball into the box by Fannar Arnarsson to Hakan Ilhan. Ilhan found Graham alone on the six-yard line for the goal.
The final score of the night at 86:58 came when a Wofford defender tried to clear a loose ball from in front of the goal. Graham intercepted the clearing attempt and shot it into the goal from 10 yards out, giving him a team-leading five goals on the year.
The Spartans had a 12-11 advantage in shots and 7-1 in corner kicks.
UNCG steps out of conference on Friday to face Gardner-Webb for a 7 p.m. match.
Wofford............. 1 1 - 2
UNCG................ 2 2 - 4
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG Graham (unassisted), 28:35; UNCG Shore (Graham, Byrd), 32:32; WOF Orton (Padula), 37:45; WOF Threadgill (Orton), 78:08; UNCG Graham (Ilhan, Arnarsson), 85:38; UNCG Graham (unassisted), 86:58. Shots: Wofford 11, UNCG 12. Saves: Wofford 4 (Limbaugh 4), UNCG 5 (Copeland 1; Ford 4). Corner Kicks: UNCG 7, Wofford 1. Fouls: UNCG 6, Wofford 5.
- UNCG -